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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Beta Testing Report (FIRST FIVE BETAS)

Today, I have finished uploading the files and I have decided to use this blog as the central link for informing beta testers of bugs discovered and the changes made. It will also be the area where a player can check back and find the links to any patch file, which I will keep a link to from here, as well as in any emails I send. Note: Apart from the patch file and the "Information.rar" all other file links will be supplied direct by the emails you have provided me.


BETA TESTERS (Updated upon request): andysks; Thierry (4760), Grinsekatze, rjshae,  ...


Patching process is now only received via direct email communication.

Replace existing hak with this one. (Confirms version update in game. NB: Name will now always be althea_patch_latest.rar. This way I can replace an existing patch and simply update the version number here of what to expect after patching your module.) NB: If your game does not tell you it has been updated after replacing the hak, then please try downloading again. If it still fails, let me know. The version you are currently running can be found in your Main Menu when you click on Rule Information.

// v5.17 - Fixed ROUND COUNTER.
// v5.16 - Fixed snowballs and healing herbs. Updated bestiary include and images.
// v5.15 - Fixed crafting case sensitive resrefs checks.
// v5.14 - Fixed companion journal for Thierry. Fixed lag problem in Chaos Vortex due to scaling issue.
// v5.13 - Fixed broken journal for companions and Orechin conversation.
// v5.12 - Map Pins improvement (by allowing companions area transition to keep something upon enter.)
// v5.11 - Journal Fix.
// v5.10 - Fixed post descriptions on items when unacquired for any reason. E.g. Runic addition.
// v5.09 - Fixed broken function that checks party skill - best PC in.
// v5.08 - Astend conversation logic on order of events. Core dump.
// v5.06 - CORE FILE DUMP.
// v5.05 - Fixed Travis conversation. Fixed Melissa conversation about ants.
// v5.04 - Fixed smelter usage.

// v5.03 - Fixed incorrect pause delay. Creation Pen Removal. Halls Effects Removal. Journal entry.
// v5.02 - Fixed an impotent Melakar
// v5.01 - Removes debug feedback.
// v4.06 - Resest attempts for Thierry.(Critical.)
// v4.05 - Fixed book for Zakeree for beta testers.(Critical.)
// v4.04 - Fixed broken rune lock timers. Broken journal entry.(Critical.)
// v4.03 - Fixed Talanthian door to remain unlocked on second usage. Add missing items. (Critical.)

// v4.02 - Fixed non-comtainer placeable combi locks. E.g Anciet Crypt pedestal (Critical.)
// v4.01 - Dryad conversation fix (updates quests). (Critical.)
// v4.00 - Quest fixes (completion) for Rjshae and Thierry (Non critical.)


// ==============================================================================


09/09/15: THE GAME TIMER - This module uses a simple game timer, which is accessible from the Main Menu. It is only provided as a very rough guide, as it runs a bit inaccurately, and even stops when the game is paused (of course). Those of you who may have been monitoring your Game Time, may also notice that the time recorded has been halved. This is to take into account an error found in the time keeping (going twice as fast as it should have been).

09/09/15: "NO REST" AREAS - This module uses its own NO RESTING feedback. However, I did not remove the "No Resting Allowed" property from some areas prior this release, which means the official campaign system kicks in before my own system gives any feedback. Therefore, be aware of this when trying to rest in some areas. E.g. In Merkes place, you simply get the "No resting allowed in this area" in the chat window, which can easily be missed if you are used to the other system.

08/09/15: "STOLEN" ITEMS - I discovered there still remains a number of placeable containers missing an important script that means the contents are not marked "Stolen" in the normal way and Trickster Jewellery is not setup correctly. I am addressing these as I discover them, and they CANNOT *easily* be fixed via the patch and so it's not worth the time doing so. (They will be fixed in the final.) You will find an example of this in a chest inside the Bloated Buckle Inn (if you find it).

04/09/15: SOUNDS - I discovered a deeply embedded function "LBPlaySound" needed to have its target association changed when playing sounds. This has been fixed for future releases, but no patch will deal with a situation in your own game. Basically, if you are not possessing your main PC, who is far from the one you are possessing, then you may not hear some sounds play. (Rare situation.)

04/09/15: GEMS - I discovered a couple of gems were not indicating that they can be used in crafting: the Alexandrite and the Amethyst. These have been updated in this module, but will not show in your findings of them. They can still be used as such though.

03/09/15: LOWER RESOLUTIONS - I discovered that some of you are running at lower than 1920 x 1080 resolution. This causes a problem with some new GUIs that are "fixed" for 1920 x 1080 resolutions. However, I have "unlocked" them with a fix so that player on lower resolutions setups can move the GUIs around to suit their needs. At the moment, this has only been reported as required for the Rune Lock puzzle. If you play at a lower resolution and require any other GUI "unlocked", then please let me know. Here is the Quick Fix to unlock the Rune Lock GUIs. Decompress the file and place the two XMl files into your override. They are unique and will not affect any other game you may be playing and are safe to leave there.

03/09/15: AREA LIGHTING - I discovered that the lighting for the "Boathouse" was not set correctly. The module has been corrected, but your version will not be. Apologies for that.

03/09/15: CRYPT COFFINS - I discovered that some of the crypt coffins had older scripts on, which do not make unusable after looting. The module has been corrected, but your version will not be. Apologies for that.

03/09/15: RULE INFO - The Scroll comes with a number of House Rules, covered in the Rule Information section, which could be an overwhelming amount of text to read in one go. I would recommend only referring to this section as and when you are curious about the way something plays. In other words, you can "ignore" the rules all the while you are playing along without any issues. Consider the Rule Information tab like the "DM" (dungeon master) who gives you information when you need it.

02/09/15: FONT SIZE - I have had one tester report back with the following error as shown in the image below. (See the previous blog post, which is now dedicated to beta tester images.) This problem is related to font sizes used by the game. It is important that anything that alters font sizes used by the game is removed or "returned to normal" prior to starting this module. This module also uses an altered fontfamily.xml, which is found inside the UI/Custom/LBAlthea folder. It is *critically important* that you use only the fontfamily.xml that comes with this module, otherwise you may end up with missing text as per the image below ... or potentially worse? If that is not the case, then something more fundamental could be at work, along the lines of a computer setting or a video hardware driver. RESOLVED: Ensure *ALL* third party add-ons are removed from both the override and the ui folders. (Pending Confirmation.)

0 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0


Beta testers can send me both emails or use this blog to send me comments regarding the testing or any other relevant information. I will use information sent to me to list "bugs" reported and "comments and suggestions" made, which they believe would improve the game, with any feedback I can give.


I want to point out that this module is not yet considered "complete". It is, however, at the stage where I need other people's perspectives to help with the final balancing and any last minute alterations. In this case, I would like to remind the testers that I cut short my own alpha testing so that I could try and meet the deadline I have set for myself. Your feedback will help me to concentrate on the important issues.


It is important to recognise that this module, The Scroll (The First Day) is only the first in a series of three planned modules. Playing it to the end may be like reaching the end of "The Fellowship of the Ring" in the Lord of the Rings trilogy ... but with nowhere else to go ... yet.

Note, I hope that there will still be a sense of satisfaction for reaching the end of this module, but there will be at least one or two loose threads remaining, which are the reasons for the modules that I hope will follow. At the very least, I hope the module will also act a showcase for the many other ideas and systems that I have developed along the way and that others may be able to use within their own modules.


While I have gone through some extensive testing, there is still a real possibility that a fundamental game-breaking bug remains in the code. If you believe you encounter one of these types of bugs, let me know as soon as possible so that I can release a patch as quickly as I can to help keep the testing moving. In every such case, I will endeavour to provide a working solution so that you will not need to restart the game wherever possible. Restarting will only ever be a last resort during this stage of testing.


Beta testers will be sent an email with a link to this blog and direct download links to the three essential files required to install the module. It is essential to follow these instructions to ensure the module installs correctly and plays without problems beyond currently undiscovered bugs:-

1) Ensure your "Neverwinter Nights 2\ui\custom" and "Neverwinter Nights 2\override" are currently empty. (NB: This module must not have any other third party add-ons included.)

2) Download and unpack "Campaign_Althea.rar". It contains a folder called "Althea", which must be placed inside your NWN2 Campaigns folder.

3) Download and unpack "Module_Althea_001.rar". It contains a folder called "Althea_001", which must be placed inside your NWN2 modules folder.

4) Download and unpack "Others.rar". It contains four folders:
  1. "hak" folder, which contains  3 "althea_xxxxx.hak" files, which all go into your hak folder.
  2. "movies" folder, which contains "TheScrollIntro.bik" file, which goes into your movie folder.
  3. "tlk" folder, which contains "Althea_01.TLK" file, which goes into your tlk folder.
  4. "ui" folder, containing a "custom" folder with "LBAlthea" folder inside. Use in your ui folder.
5) Download and unpack "Information.rar"and follow the Quickstart Guide to ensure you have setup the files correctly. The opening screens should now reflect "The Scroll" as the module you are about to play. This is important, as it also means you will have correctly setup some essential GUI changes required for the module to work correctly. (NB: If you are playing other modules at the same time as this one, then you will need to remove the LBAlthea folder before playing a different module. It is essential that you replace it before playing The Scroll again though.)

6) Continue to follow the Quickstart Guide until you reach the point where the module automatically saves the game for you. (See CHOOSING A BACKGROUND below.) At this point, you are ready to start playing. Referring to the Althea Manual_BETA_1.00.PDF may be helpful at this time. Please let me know if I have left any misinformation in either of these two PDF files or if there is anything more I could add that may be helpful to the player.

CHOOSING A BACKGROUND: When you first enter the game and go through some character selections, you will eventually be asked to choose a background. Unless you are familiar with my pen and paper campaign (or played my NWN1 module, Soul Shaker), then I would recommend that you choose OPTION 2.


I provide this as a guideline to the sort of things I would like feedback about, but please give me information in any way that is most comfortable for you. For instance, if you have the ability to record your gaming session (and don't mind doing so), then please do record your sessions and upload them to a site where I can download them and view them. (Add commentary as you play, and this will serve as good feedback.)

Consider the following for feedback:-

1) Installation & Starting: Any issues with installation and/or manuals, or starting the module. (See point 5 and 6 above.)

2) Emotional Response: Report on anything confusing, frustrating, enjoyable or any other experience you have.

3) Practical Observations: Is something not working as expected or given the impression it would? Basically, this is the "Is something broken?" question.

4) Glitches & Typos: Are there any grammar or spelling errors? (Do not include NPC mannerisms.)

5) Logical Flow: Does the game flow naturally? Does anything not make sense? Do the journal entries keep track correctly? Do the conversations remain consistent? Are there (in your opinion) any more conversation lines you would have liked to ask?

6) Combat & Treasure: Is there enough combat? Is there sufficient treasure? NB: This is a question of balance. Your feedback in this area will help me to tweak the final settings.

7) New Systems: This campaign has many new systems incorporated. Some of them still require updates, like adding code to some spell scripts. If you notice any spell or object that may be missing some code, then please let me know.

8) Your Statistics: I would also be interested to see how long you have been playing (per session and overall) as recorded in the Main Menu (or by your own timing) and what sort of party you are playing.


Like all projects, there are some issues that I know to still exist within my own. Here is my current list:-

1) On very rare occasions, the module hangs when starting for the first time only. (1 in 100)
2) One of the Crafting Manuals (Greater Essences) is incomplete.
3) Not every spell has been updated to work with the new system. (Please report your experiences.)
4) Game balancing for combat and treasure remains untested.

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